Enemies and Diseases of Honey Bees
Enemies of Honeybees:
1. Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella):
It is one of the most important enemies of the bee colony causing serious damage particularly to weak colonies. The caterpillars live in the silken tunnels made by the bees, feed on the propolis, pollen, and wax in the combs. The presence of loose dislodged particles in the hive is the first symptom of attacks. When the infestation is serious, the comb is seen covered with silken webs with the numerous black faecal particles of the caterpillars.
The insect can be controlled by frequent examination of hive, cleaning all the crevices and removing all debris.
The black ants and red ants are dangerous enemies of the bee. They attack weak colonies and carry away the honey, pollen and the brood. By providing ant pans around the bases of the stand or oil bands over the stands ants can kept away.
It waits near the entrance of the hive; catches bees as they come out, macerate them for feeding the juice to its young. By reducing the width of the alighting board of the hive, the wasps can be prevented from sitting near the entrance.
The wax beetle, birds and deaths head moth are also other enemies of honeybees.
Diseases of Honeybees:
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans and mites in both the adult bees and their larvae cause various diseases.
Acarine disease is caused by a parasitic mite (Acarapis woodi). Exposing the infected colony to a mixture of safrol oil and two parts each of nitrobenzene and petrol can control it.
American foulbrood is a disease affecting the bee larvae and is caused by Bacillus larvae. The disease can be controlled by total destruction of the diseased colony including the hive, frames, bees and honey by burning.